Have you fallen out of love with your home? Are you bored and uninspired by your surroundings? Think a different home might reflect your present taste and lifestyle needs better? Do you wish you could just move out and start over new someplace else? If you answered YES to any of the above questions then perhaps it’s not a “startover” that you need, but a “makeover”!

A room “makeover” will give any space in your home a fresh new look and improved functionality using the things that you already have. I’m not talking here about throwing out all your old things and buying all new things. Because usually it’s not the things you have that are the problem, but rather the way they are arranged or combined. Simple changes, using the basic design principles that I’ll share with you below, will make any room in your home more livable, more coherent and more visually pleasing. And that’s what makes us fall in love!

Pick a room in your home and apply this knowledge. You’ll be surprised at the difference you can make without spending a dime.

1. Locate the Focal Point

Every room needs a focal point. It can be a natural focal point, like a fireplace or a window with a view, the bed, or it can be an entertainment center with a TV. Once you have identified it, everything else in the room should revolve around it and focus on it.

2. Arrange the Seating Area

Form your seating in a U-shaped or L-shaped configuration facing the focal point. Anchor the seating/conversation area with a rug whose color coordinates with the upholstery of your seating, and place a coffee table within easy reach. 


3. Include Two of a Kind

Using pairs of armchairs, end tables and lamps can create a cohesive and balanced look in the room. If you don’t have matching end tables, you can use two of similar height and finish. Just don’t go overboard with pairs. If everything in the room is one of a pair, it can get monotonous, so mix it up a little.

4. Add In the Light

Make sure the room has sufficient light, in the form of general lighting (recessed cans, chandeliers) and task lighting (table and floor lamps). Accent lighting can be used to highlight a painting or as an up light on the foliage of a large plant. Put all the lighting on dimmers so you can control the overall mood and ambiance of the room.

5. Place Art at the Correct Height

Avoid the mistake of hanging your wall art too high. Art should be hung at eye level only in rooms where people are usually standing, like foyers and hallways. Otherwise, art should be 6-8 inches above a sofa back or 8-10 inches above a console, buffet or desk.

6. Group the Accessories in Odd Numbers

Placing accessories in groupings of 3, 5 or 7 is more dynamic and visually interesting than even numbered groupings. Use tall, medium and shorter items in the same grouping and place them in a triangular pattern, with the tallest on the end or in the middle. Don’t let the accessories dominate. Add only those that will enhance the overall look and feel you are going for.

These are the basic design principles used to create a successful room “makeover”! And here’s one last tip; before you begin, empty the room of all clutter and items that are not being used, are broken or worn. I promise you, you’ll LOVE your home again and be amazed at how different all your things will look and not a dime spent! You can do this!

By Toni Berry at Marie Antoinette Interiors

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